The Jackal’s official title in the British Army MWMIK which translates to Mobility Weapon Mounted Installation Kit. It should be noted that the Jackal 1 which this kit represents is not the most current version in use, as we have progressed to the Jackal 2. The first of these vehicles were purchased by the MOD in 2007, and saw active service as of 2008. The Jackal 2 is equipped with a larger engine, is 14 inches longer and has an extra crew position. It is also a roomier vehicle, with a higher top speed.
This new release from Hobby Boss of a Jackal 1 in 1/35th scale arrives in a robust cardboard tray, further protected by a cardboard lid. Upon opening the box you will discover a segmented area of the box that protects clear parts, photo etch and body panels. The sprues are packaged individually except where duplicated, and are further protected in some areas by foam wrap, and in one case the entire sprue is protected with bubble wrap. An examination of the contents reveals no obvious issues, with a good use of slide moulding and reasonable sized gates between the sprue and parts. I did find that the inner body panel was warped over its length, but is recoverable.
This is one of those odd vehicles, were the lower hull has mine deflection built in, which other than the steering and suspension parts the dirty areas are hidden away. What appears to be a nice touch on the part of Hobby Boss, is that I believe the wheels are steerable, but everything I can see would certainly suggest that, and in the belief that I am correct that makes me a happy man. Position wise you would need to do some surgery to display the vehicle correctly on an uneven surface. Once the underside elements are assembled, you end up with a very nicely detailed underside, even if what you can see is minimal it looks the part.
One thing I will mention with this model is that if you do not like photo etch, this is not one for you as there are 6 frets present. The wheels have good detail in all visible areas, and for those who do not like vinyl rubber your going to have to seek out new tyres. I will say however, that in my opinion they are very nicely detailed and good enough for the task.
The upper body of this vehicle is open, and so could really by said to offer a nice level of interior detail. The main part of the upper body has a lot of detail present on it , and must come from quite a complex mould. This particular review sample indicates no issues, but I would be a little bit concerned as the moulds get some age to them. The front cab has what appears to be very comfortable seats with a good head rest. I will say that I am a little surprised, that moulded on harness detail is present on the back of the seats but the lap portion appears to be missing, and will ideally need to be replicated. The front compartment would appear to be very well detailed, but it should be noted by the modeller that the area below the steering wheel and approximately a third to half way down the steering column housing there is a cloth/vinyl cover. The drivers position matches my reference very well in all other respects, but there is a considerable amount of wire detail that is clearly visible and not replicated on the model. The passengers location shows two trays of ammunition storage, which would appear to be accurate in some cases. There are a very large number of small details which do not appear to be replicated, and I will be totally honest and say that on many occasions I can understand why. I will however, add a walk around in the near future to help those wishing to tackle this vehicle.
The exterior front of the vehicle looks to be a very good match for my reference, the only thing I observed was that the smoke dischargers on the front of the vehicle suddenly appear in place and at no point do I see them mentioned in the instruction booklet. I was pleased to see the winch correctly detailed on the front of the vehicle, as well as the light placement with clear lenses. The wing mirrors of the vehicle will require the modeller to find the way they prefer to replicate the mirrored surface.
Moving towards the rear of the vehicle, you again have the same seats as the front with the harness detail running from the shoulder to the chest but no lap belt again. There should be storage between and to the rear of the seats. Storage at the very rear of the vehicle for fuel and/or water is present and covered in the model, these areas could also be used for the storage of ammunition. The rear door has the spare wheel on the inside, but they have only supplied it on one side of the vehicle and I believe there should be one on each side of the vehicle. The offensive weaponry on this vehicle is provided in the form of a grenade launcher on the rear position, and a GPMG in the front passengers position. I would have liked to have seen personal weapon storage covered in this model.
There is one of these early Jackals on display at Bovington Tank Museum, and this particular vehicle shows how much additional storage can be stored in the netting and strapped to the vehicle in various areas. Again I have included photographic reference to cover this. One of the beauties of this particular model is that its ability to carry so much extra equipment over and above that you may expect to find and so each model can truly be uniquely finished to suit the modellers needs. The only restrictions would seem to be the modellers imagination.